Will Windows Phone 7 succeed? That's difficult to say, but Microsoft can at least claim that it has come up with something different. Not very different, mind. WinPho 7 isn't the radical departure Microsoft might want us to think it is, but it is a refreshing alternative to the apps'n'icons approach its rivals have taken. In …
Purely on the basis of this article...
1. The home page can only work in portrait, is that right? Does everything else need landscape? Oh, and it looks crap.
2. UI's bigger than the screen? Tricky one this - it's ok for data to be bigger than the screen, but the UI? Could so easily go wrong.
3. MS lock in (outlook, exchange, xbox, and I'll bet Bing)- sorry, that's a fail. At least facebook is on there, but hopefully these can all be changed (inc facebook)?
4. Apps that are more than apps. Ok, this sounds clever, but one thing that the seperate app theme google/apple use is at least intuiative - I can see this MS version getting abused, and becoming counter-intuiative.
On the whole - looks pretty enough (home page excluded), in a noughties-London-graphic-designer type of way. That doesn't necessarily mean "practical" though.
Apple and Google don't need to worry too much, IMO.
Author has a point about ios' notification - yeah, the count above an icon (eg email, calls, txts etc) does work, but frankly it can be done better, surely. What about integrating them onto the "unlock" screen?
Android Notification System
Right this isnt too cause a flame war (however I know by typing this it will).
I would say the android notification system is one of the best I have used on any phone (HTC Hero). Everything that comes through is delivered to the top bar which you can access in most applications.
RE: Android Notification System
I totally agree. It really is one of two features from Android that I'd like to see on my iPhone. The whole way that notifications are handled in Android is efficient and elegant. I'd keep the icon badges too mind! The other is the lock-screen having more information on it.
I don't think the people who have designed this interface have heard of the design phrase 'hierarchy of information'.
Just to clarify
It seems odd to claim it is a 'refreshing' approach and then detail throughout how it is simply renaming 'apps and icons' to 'tiles and hubs' (just MS spinning their names to what is now common fodder on phones) and then saying that they are making social networking the core of the system. That is what they are all doing, or are you saying that 'refreshing' simply means up and down?
I do look forward to finding the first person ever that posts on a forum to say "I want a phone to run silverlight version (install version number)" to the same degree as "I need flash 10.1 to be supported so I can view the web." Then and only then will I care about silverlight on my phone.
You do however make a good list of reasons to decide if you want to get WP7 or not.
If you hate anything with the words 'facebook' and 'twitter' and don't want it infecting your phone.
Don't want to pay for an xbox live gold account, or own an xbox.
Hate the 'conversations' view of displaying text messages and want the traditional inbox and sent box.
Don't like flicking between landscape and portrait. This phone OS is probably avoided.
That is my dilemma resolved then. Thanks El Reg.
Nice review but it doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. I cant seen even the teens and 20 somethings who's live's revolve around facebook being interested either to be honest.
i dont have a facebook account or own an xbox. this pointless consumer os means nothing to me, having used the previous versions of winmo for some time - enjoying the power and control they provided. i feel left out in the cold by winpho7 :(
over to maemo it is..
I sometimes wonder about the fashionable but superficial negativity that The Register (prematurely) ejaculates. This kind of behaviour is akin to the dry, witty but continually sarcastic individual at posh dinner parties - always ready to put someone or something down; initially amusing but ultimately wearing and extremely annoying - all in all: completely dull and a total waste of time. Nastiness for the sake of nastiness.
On the other hand....
....such negativity does seem well received by the commentards hereabouts, so perhaps El Reg is just playing to the audience?
What a sack of lies...
First, there's a LOT more than Facebook you can put on the tiles on a WM7 phone. Second, just like you need a Google account for Android, an iTunes account for an iPhone, you'll need a Live account to use a WM7 phone. You DON'T need an Xbox for a Live account. Gees!
Letter and/or numbers
I can't be bothered to re-read the article, but I obviously got a different understanding than you.
He was saying that things like the Photo Gallery have Facebook integrated, I though, not that you'll have nothing else to put on your tiles.
I agree with you about the Live account, but I took his XBox comment to be about the tight integration with XBox Live as well as generic Live. i.e., if you don't have Facebook or an XBox, you're probably not going to get much from this.
I've been watching WinPho7 for a while, but I see nothing to excite me...
Microsoft have re-invented widgets and given them a new name?
You obviously didn't use Windows Vista
Microsoft has reinvented _gadgets_ and given them a new name.
Icons which are also file lists?
Somewhat like SIBO and EPOC on the Psion 3 and 5 series computers then.
How can I explain?
Now, let's see... how do I explain this?
If I had to choose between an Android phone and a Windows7 Phone? Let's say they were both free but on top of the Windows phone I would also get 100 euro cash extra. Which one would I choose?
The Android one every time!
The vague comparisons drawn here between Palm's WebOS and WP7 are at least partially incorrect and entirely misleading.
When I first turned on my Pre there was not one HINT of any social networking tools as none are bundled with the device. With WP7 it's so heavily in-grained into the phone that they may as well relabel it 'Interfacebook Explorer 8'.
Palm devices can support any or no social networking and the substantial amount of support for different services shows true dedication to user's needs (in my case I want NO social networking, and that's what I get!) Not to mention that this improves dramatically with each update and with the continuing improvement of features such as Synergy.
Microsoft are supporting Twitter and Facebook because they've essentially asked themselves which two social-networking tools are most popular and settled for an 'OK that'll do' attitude that basically pays lip-service to social-networking on the whole without actually providing people with what they want.
Oh for god's sake!
People. Try before you diss. It's not that hard and it preserves your integrity. Sheesh!
Enough with the WP7 torrents
It's a phone from a recessive, in-fight ridden enterprise with no clear message what it's products are about.
It's much too late to market; so much so that no amount of lobbying on it's behalf will make any difference to its ability to succeed - Pigs and lipstick, folks!
The world has moved on from the "Here's what we're prepared to let you have, not what you need or like" mentality still being peddled by the Marketing over Presentation over Substance characterises the declining Micro-gone-soft.
Please, please put it to rest, El Reg!
"lobbying on it's behalf"
You took this as a positive review?
Let's face facts and look at the real world
Average Joe Consumer sees a mate with a iPhone, likes the games, the internet, the social networking, the maps, blah blah blah, Joe will most likely not give a monkey's about anything else, straight down the Carphone Warehouse/Phones4U/wherever and buy an iPhone!
Average Joe Consumer sees a mate with a Galaxy Android phone, likes the games, the internet, the social networking, the maps, blah blah blah, Joe picks out a phone design he likes most, most likely not give a monkey's about anything else, straight down the Carphone Warehouse/Phones4U/wherever and buy an Android phone!
What? MS make phones? Hmmm, my mate has an iPhone/Galaxy I like it, it's very shiny! I want one of those.
I only a PAYG, cheap as chips, I'll pay £50 for a phone and £20 a month for the calls/texts on top-ups.
End of story!
I personally think people are mad paying £35 a month for an iphone. Sure you can probably pick up older ones from the web etc but for the majority it will be from the stores on the high street.
Android phones with decent spec can be had for much, much less. Unless winpho7 is very cheap I cant see it being an alternative.
Having had a brief fiddle with Win Phone 7 I was rather impressed.
OK, I can't see it weening me off Android, but the UI, the web browser and the general structure of the OS seemed well thought out. The lack of tethering and cut/paste is a drawback - it's the blinding ease with which my Android phone tethers to my Ubuntu netbook that is one of the main reasons I use an Android phone.
Still, competition is a good thing - I have no desire to live in a world where I am forced to choose between Android or iOS with Symbian bringing up the rear. Vive la différence.
This is leaving me cold- I look at my current home setup of a Vista machine that disconnects from the internet if you plug an external hard drive in (including a windows phone), an activesync that successfully synchs roughly half the time, a wrongheaded MS "my phone" account which claims to back up your contacts, photos, docs etc but is limited to 200mb (how big's my memory card?!) which wants me to manually delete 60 pages of photographs if I wish to use it, several years of lazy failure to innovate, an entirely useless customer service/help function in which I do not believe I have ever found a solution to my computing problem, a loss of the auto-type function on the handwriting recognition in 6.1, an XP machine that I moved out then back into a room and now can't see my router, a new HP printer that Vista can't see but XP can, pretending Windows 7 was more than just an SP that MS owed to their customers, limited ability to customise Winphone 7 and I have to conclude that I simply don't believe they're capable of delivering a working, integrated system.
After seven years of buying a new PDA every year, I'm off to Android which, to judge by my girlfriend's phone, is stable,innovative and you can write your own apps with a sort of WYSIWYG application. I don't irrationally hate MS and quietly fix my computing problems, but can't pretend I trust them to deliver.
Perhaps after all that it's things like the fact they've placed Twitter and Facebook at the heart of the phone that fills me with trepidation. Bearing in mind how quickly they caught on it just shows that MS have learnt nothing about adapting for the future, so much as being late to the party when it comes to embracing (or badly aping) the innovations of others.
re: Oh for god's sake!
Wow, you must have a pretty extensive bill for smartphones if you have to try each one before you form an opinion on it. Seriously it must run into thousands of pounds!
I have years of contacts & calendar information in Outlook. A basic (perhaps the original) feature of smartphones is to sync calendar and contact data with your desktop. WP7 can't sync with Outlook (without using Exchange Server, or kludges involving moving your data to a Windows Live account).
I missed the boat into work this morning.
Did any one else?
It's Vodafone 360 branded Microsoft.